Due to recent technological advancements, more diversified customer demand, and increasingly harder competition, traditional postal service systems have experienced significant changes all over the world. In Norway, through a strategic reform called post-in-shop, undertaken in 2013, most postal services are now provided at postal service counters located in retailer stores in order to improve accessibility, operational efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. This has led to a complex decision-making problem for the redesign of urban postal service networks across the country. In this paper, a two-stage method is proposed to solve a real-world urban postal service network redesign problem. First, two location models are employed to determine the optimal locations of postal service counters. In the second stage, a simulation model is built to evaluate the urban postal service system with different location and demand allocation plans under a realistic and stochastic environment. Among other insights, our results show that the proposed two-stage method can be used to effectively improve the accessibility of postal service networks by making optimal location-allocation decisions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications